My first time here. Looking for advice from all partners to MS patients. Decided to post because of the difficulties I am having in supporting my boyfriend’s recent (1-month-old) MS diagnosis.
We have very different communication styles to begin with but these have been worse with the recent news. He (M, 32) deals with difficult moments and traumas by repressing his feelings and avoiding discussing/thinking about them. His mother died ten years ago and he dealt with it by pushing away all thoughts of her and never talking about her again. It seems he has the same reaction now - and he says that since stress makes MS worse, he’s medically justified to repress all conversations about it. He’s only interested in hearing medical advice on the topic. 'If you come to me with new information I’ll listen", he says, but all I hear is “since you’re not a doctor, get out of my face”.
I (F, 27), on the other hand, need to talk about difficult things and express myself to feel better. I also feel like he is not taking into consideration that the diagnosis affects me too, that it will shape the rest of my life with him now.
I love him so very very much, I want to spend my life with him and we are planning to get engaged, but seeing how this breaks down our communication really makes me fear that we will grow apart down the line if we can’t fully support each other. I’m here for him no matter how the MS develops but I am worried about the impact that this illness will have on the relationship dynamics.
So how have all you in relationships worked on your relationship after an MS diagnosis? How did you get your spouses to open up about it? Did your partner - maybe especially male partner - react similarly and how did you deal with it? What tools have you used to communicate better/grow stronger as a couple? Have you, for example, set a specific slot in the week when there is a sort of free zone to talk about it and how you’re feeling?
So many questions! Thank you so so much in advance for any advice you can offer! He means everything to me and I’m desperate to make this work